It took a game-tanking accusation for the NHL to finally realize it has an Evander Kane problem

It took a game-tanking accusation for the NHL to finally realize it has an Evander Kane problem

NHL investigating accusation that Evander Kane bet on his own games

Kane had 22 goals and 27 assists this past season for the Sharks, leading the team in both categories. The 29-year-old’s worst stretch of the season coincided with San Jose’s eight-game losing streak in April, when any outside shot at a playoff berth was long gone. During that period, Kane’s only two goals were a shorthanded goal in the third period of a 3-2 loss at Minnesota, and a tally at home against the Wild that cut a third-period deficit to 5-2. If that April swoon by the Sharks isn’t where the NHL’s investigation begins, the league doesn’t know what it’s doing.

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Then again, if the NHL knew what it was doing, the league would have been involved long ago in the story of a player with a history of off-ice trouble, gambling issues, and millions of dollars of debt. It shouldn’t have to get to a point where the wife of a man with a history of violence toward women is the one to publicly call him out, possibly putting herself in danger.

Kane has denied the accusations, calling them completely false.

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Ignoring things and hoping they go away is standard operating procedure for the NHL, which still has nothing to say about the situation in Chicago, where video coach Brad Aldrich’s alleged abuse was swept under the rug for more than a decade and details continue to trickle out. But that, like Kane’s previous woes, never posed a threat to the NHL’s bottom line — and as sports gambling becomes more and more mainstream, the biggest reason that the “integrity of our game is paramount” is that the casinos tell them so.

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